Friday, 14 August 2015

Review: A Meditation on Murder by Robert Thorogood

An original story from the creator and writer of the hit BBC One TV series, Death in Paradise, featuring on-screen favourite detective, DI Richard Poole.

Enhance your enjoyment of the series as, for the first time, Robert Thorogood brings the characters to life on the page in an all-new locked-room mystery. One murder victim, five suspects and a room no person entered or left; the classic murder in a locked room conundrum.

Aslan Kennedy has an idyllic life: leader of a spiritual retreat for wealthy holidaymakers on one of the Caribbean's most unspoilt islands, Saint Marie. Until he's murdered, that is. The case seems open and shut: when Aslan was killed he was inside a locked room with only five other people, one of whom has already confessed to the murder.

Detective Inspector Richard Poole is hot, bothered, and fed up with talking to witnesses who'd rather discuss his 'aura' than their whereabouts at the time of the murder. But he also knows that the facts of the case don't quite stack up. In fact, he's convinced that the person who's just confessed to the murder is the one person who couldn't have done it. Determined to track down the real killer, DI Poole is soon on the trail, and no stone will be left unturned.

A must read for fans of the TV series and Agatha Christie crime classics featuring Marple and Poirot.

My Thoughts:
As a fan of the existing tv-series, I was delighted to find more adventures in book form to supplement the series.

Robert who was the series originator has on the whole done a good job of translating the characters to another medium.  I am not sure why but the book takes us back to the period around the first series where DI Richard Poole was still in charge and irritated by his surroundings and colleagues. In the second season he whilst still grumpy had mellowed somewhat as we got to know him and likewise as he and his colleagues got to know each other better.

This book is a delight with the all usual elements that we have come to expect from the tv-series namely: red herrings, plot twists humour and the inevitable bringing together of all the suspects for unveiling of the murderer at the end. In common with other books which are part of a series, it assumes to a degree that the reader has some prior knowledge. Personally I wouldn't recommend reading this without at least watching the first episode in the tv-series.

Both Camille and Dwayne translate well to paper. It was interesting to learn that origin of the motorcycle and sidecar is somewhat a mystery having joined the force around the same tome ad Dwayne. Richard himself whilst he had all the same traits inevitably came over a little differently than in the series with the investigation being written mostly from his standpoint. Personally I thought it a shame that the author didn't switch between the characters to tell the story.

I really enjoyed this book with all its twists and Harry the Lizard antics. As in the series Richard's grumpy attitude and behaviour is offset by his fellow islanders and police officers. His colleagues laid back attitude is the perfect balance to the straight-laced and often tactless DI Richard Poole.

This is the first in a series, I am looking forward to reading the next in the series where I hope to learn more about the characters in the series.

Recommended as light reading for fans of the tv-series. However it has to be said that DI Poole on paper misses the Ben Miller touch.

  • Format: Kindle Edition
  • Publisher: MIRA; 1 edition (1 Jan. 2015)

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